Is this a normal society? Will it ever be a normal society? Signs aren’t promising. Peter Robinson is back at his favourite motif of complaining about the number of government departments and how expensive they are. He has a point; unfortunately it’s the same point that Gregory Campbell had about the cost of the Saville Inquiry. Yes the cost is exorbitant in both cases but why did the Inquiry and why do the many departments exist in the first place? Because of the stupid and cruel way in which this artificial state was run. The roots of the cost of Saville run into the barrels of the Para guns which killed so many on Bloody Sunday. The roots of the many government departments twist down into the decades of discrimination and gerrymander. There’s not much point in complaining about the expense you’re being put to, getting the carpet and walls cleaned, if you're the one responsible for the slaughter that stained them in the first place. None of that makes the bloated administration at Stormont any easier to put up with; but maybe that’s the price you have to pay for a statelet that wobbles on only because it’s propped up by an annual £8 billion hand-out from Britain.
A normal society? Sure we are. Just like the Lock-keeper's Inn on the Lagan towpath is a normal café.